, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 102-110
Date: 05 Feb 2008

Sustained response to peginterferon alfa-2a (40 kD) with or without lamivudine in Asian patients with HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B

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The 2 reported trials investigated the effectiveness of treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a in Asian patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).


Patients with HBeAg-positive (n = 708) or HBeAg-negative (n = 332) CHB were enrolled in 2 randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies. Patients received peginterferon alfa-2a 180 μg once weekly, peginterferon plus lamivudine 100 mg per day, or lamivudine alone for 48 weeks. Patients were followed up at 6 and 12 months posttreatment.


Peginterferon alfa-2a provided significantly higher rates of HBeAg seroconversion (31%) in HBeAg-positive patients than did lamivudine (19%, P = 0.005) 6 months posttreatment, irrespective of genotype. Of these, 83% achieving seroconversion during treatment or early posttreatment sustained their response at 12 months posttreatment. In patients who seroconverted, 69% maintained HBV DNA suppression at <10,000 copies/ml and alanine aminotrasferase (ALT) normalization. In HBeAg-negative patients, peginterferon produced a significantly higher combined response of HBV DNA at <20,000 copies/ml and ALT normalization (45%) than lamivudine (31%, P = 0.032), irrespective of genotype. Almost 80% of these patients sustained their response at 12 months posttreatment.


In conclusion, a finite course of peginterferon alfa-2a provides significant and sustained treatment benefit in Asian CHB patients, who have traditionally been regarded as difficult to treat.